International Work

Tatiana is telling stories in Kenya 2018

Children from 0 to 17 years of age constitute over a quarter of world population. The countries of the Middle East & North Africa boast the youngest populations on earth, where over 55 % of the inhabitants are less than 20 years of age. It follows that reaching the world population for Christ means first and foremost reaching the young, as early in their development as possible. Puppetry and storytelling are excellent tools for drawing children together in many places, including homes, markets, hill tribe villages, Bible study classes, and even regular worship services at churches. They have become a meaningful way of leading children and their families into accepting Jesus Christ as Savior.

Since 2016, the Council for Children and Families has expanded to provide educational and related services in foreign countries including Thailand, Nicaragua, Kenya and India. The experience gained by the Council and its President, Tatiana Strachan, over many years of training teachers and students from foreign countries in the U.S. has been of great value in serving various people overseas, particularly vulnerable children. The first volunteer experience working in a foreign country was teaching at Children’s Homes for a non-profit organization in Thailand. The goal was to protect and educate children that were in danger of sex trafficking. Using of puppetry in teaching served as a means to communicate with sensitive children. A similar approach was used in Nicaragua and Kenya in a schools with students of diverse backgrounds and in classes including at the high school level.

Tatiana Strachan is actively looking for the opportunity to volunteer her services to Christians internationally. She prefers to reinforce existing missionary effort by joining a short mission trip or visit missionaries at their location. She is willing to customize her classes and shows to suit specific needs of the host. As a volunteer Tatiana will usually cover costs of airplane ticket and her other individual expenses.

Childhood traumatic stress.

Girl expereincing truma Arwan Sutanto on Unsplash

Young children’s development and behavior are connected to their social worlds and lived experiences. Many of them experience early childhood trauma. It can have a profound, long-lasting effect on the rest of their lives. Council for Children and Families developed two workshops that can assist teachers and caregivers in recognizing, understanding, and responding to early childhood trauma.

Classes can be adjusted to accommodate language barrier and needs of teachers and short term mission groups.

1.Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). Helping children develop resilience.

Training helps caregivers to understand early childhood trauma. It summarizes one of the largest investigations ever conducted, to assess association between early childhood trauma and its devastating effects on later-life health and well-being. It names ways childhood teachers can use to lessen effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and help young children develop resilience.

2. Exploring puppetry as a treatment option for children, following exposure to a traumatic event

For children that have experienced the negative effects of trauma, puppets can offer a way to rebuild and restore positive relationships with adults and peers, expression of emotions, exploration of real-life experiences, pushing limits to understand where their boundaries began and ended, learning self- acceptance.

Hands on training will give you opportunity to practice puppet play techniques designed to facilitate age-appropriate trauma healing.

Puppet classes and shows.

Tatiana is teaching puppetering skills to wives of the the Christian leaders in Indore India 2020.

Council for Children and Families Inc. developed several puppet classes and puppets shows that can be incorporated into short turn international mission trips. Given enough notice, we can develop new classes or shows to accommodate specific needs and goals of a mission trip.

Presently we have following classes available:

1.How to make and use hand puppets for your ministry

Children were happy to make their own moving-mouth puppets.
Chiang Mai Thailand 2016

Child ministry teachers need new tools which will hold children’s attention and make learning easy. Puppets make a big difference! Learn how to make a hand puppets from a local material. Learn how to dress them to make them to work perfectly with your message. Learn how to handle them to make them come alive. Make more puppets and start your own puppet ministry to bring new people to God.

Presently we have following Christian puppet and flannel board shows available:

David and Goliath flannel board show

Jonah and the whale flannel board show

Noah’s Ark flannel board show

Parable of Good Samaritan flannel board show

Ester puppet show, one puppeteer

Parable of Good Samaritan puppet show, group op puppeteers

Christmas Story puppet show, group op puppeteers

Good Neighbor puppet show one puppeteer

How to be a good wife. puppet show, one puppeteer

Science curriculum development. Classes for teachers and administrators.

Learning about local animals is an important part of science curriculum. Kenya 2018

Local early childhood teachers benefit from a culture appropriate class on helping children become smarter by teaching science.

Presently we have following classes available:

1. Preparing children to live in 21 Century. Early childhood science.

Training will address intentional, careful planning of the environment, preparing focused learning experiences, extending children’s play, and creating an integrated science curriculum. Most importantly, training will also show how teaching science to very young children can be exciting and fun and not as difficult as everybody thought it to be.

Class can be adjusted to accommodate language barrier and needs of teachers and short term mission groups.

Indian teenager was very interested in learning how to make puppets come alive.
Children from “Remember Nhu”, a Christian organization in Thailand
Students in Christian school in Nicaragua interacting with Joseph puppet during the Northshore Church mission trip
Puppets are wonderful icebreaker in any culture. Mountain village Chang Rai province, Thailand.